Friday, July 20, 2007

ABQ's First Recall Election In Decades Inches Closer, Plus: She's Still Available; Vigil-Giron Fails To Make Final Four For Top Party Job 

Don Harris
The city of Albuquerque is headed for its’ first recall election in nearly twenty years. Organizers of the effort to oust City Councilor Don Harris of the far NE Heights say they will today file with the city clerk the remaining necessary petition signatures to force the recall election, and are asking that it be held in conjunction with the regular municipal election set for October 2nd.

“It was a tremendous grassroots effort; the people want him out," said recall organizer Jim Lowe of the ABQ Four Hills neighborhood.

Harris, an attorney elected to the council in 2005, faces a variety of allegations by disgruntled residents, including ethics charges. He counters that he has done a good job and vows to fight, but he has filed various lawsuits to slow the recall.

Once the signatures are certified, it will be up to the ABQ city council to schedule the recall on the same day of the city's municipal election. If they choose not to, it would cost nearly $80,000 for a special election.

The last and only ABQ recall election was held in 1989 and was unsuccessful. Harris is taking this one seriously and has set up a Web site to defend himself.


She's still available. Ex-Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron will not be the new executive director of the NM Democratic Party. Becky didn't make the final four. Those that did are: Minh Nguyen, Laura E. Sanchez, Art Terrazas and Nate Williams. A final pick will be made by state party chairman Brian Colón. Some D's are still touting Vigl-Giron for a party job, saying she should be put in charge of running next February's NM Dem presidential caucus.

Sanchez served as Colón's campaign treasurer when he ran for chair. Maybe she has an inside track for the ED job.


Some omments on our blog about concern among Dems that ABQ GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson could benefit from a contested Democratic primary shaping up between Martin Heinrich and Bryon Paez. The observers said it would hurt the Dems chances in the general election, but not all agreed. Here's one:

"(A primary) is the way for the party to make sure they nominate somebody who can actually put a coherent sentence together. Democrats will lose money and maybe a part of their profile in the primary, but we will be more likely to go into the general election with the best candidate with a lot of support. If Democrats had held a primary debate in 2006, then maybe the nominee would have had some practice speaking--which, oddly enough, is quite a useful skill for politicians to possess."


As for the fun conspiracy theory that it is ABQ Mayor Marty Chavez encouraging Bryon Paez to seek the Dem nomination for the ABQ congressional seat so Marty could use that campaign to jump start his own run for governor in 2010, here's a reader retort: "Marty has run before. So why would he need a hand me down organization? The truth is that Paez plugs into Marty's players. Not the reverse."

But then the husband of Lt. Guv Diane Denish is helping Paez rival Martin Heinrich raise money and Diane is running against Marty for Guv. So perhaps for that reason Marty is lining up behind Paez. Yeah, now we're cookin'....

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